Get Away From it all, Be at One in the Mall

5932980304_4e25fcfcd5_bIntroverts need sacred places of solitude to ponder and decompress. Nowhere will you find a more peaceful environment for your contemplation-palooza than a desolate shopping mall.

Let your mind wander while strolling down long corridors past the remaining stores. Gaze at colorful “For Rent” signs and feel your blood pressure drop. Observe the remaining kiosk while avoiding eye contact with its intrepid owner.

Malls are today’s retail dinosaurs. Hordes of shoppers pushing shoulder-to-shoulder, fighting for the last Bed Bath & Beyond Beckett Duvet Cover have been replaced by an occasional security cop, armed with a lethal jackknife and a good book to read.

Today, Old Navy is manned by one guy who still can’t believe he has an MBA and is managing an Old Navy store. His hard luck is your opportunity. Finally, no chirpy sales clerk to ask, “Can I help you?” while you’re thinking about words that rhyme with “archaic.”

If you really need some serious alone time, head over to Sears. Asking for directions to the hardware department is an almost near-death experience.

For the more spiritually inclined, there’s no better place to meditate than at Cinnabon. Have the pick of every seat. No extra charge for the sugar rush.

Eventually, shopping malls will go the way of chatrooms and Leonard Cohen Fan Clubs. Introverts will move on to their next fortress of solitude. Until then, a fading Footlocker franchise beckons: “Come, sit, we’ll ignore you.”

Wrong Things to Say when an Extrovert Asks “Are You Okay?”

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It drives us crazy. We’re minding are own business in silence with a dreary expression on our face, as introverts sometimes do, and someone asks: “Are you Okay?”

Unfortunately, “yes” is never a good enough answer. Neither are the following:

  • I’m fine. I’m just contemplating suicide.
  • Okay? I haven’t felt this great since you asked me if I was okay two minutes ago.
  • Thanks for your concern, but I’m just giving my facial muscles a rest.
  • Could you repeat your question? I was talking to my therapist, Satan.
  • I’m better than okay. I’m satisfactory.
  • If by okay you mean oblivious to the monotony around me, I’m just peachy.
  • I’m sorry. Were you talking to me or another voice in my head?